MLKing National Memorial

As I’ve noted recently, this month marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. I remember the particulars of 4/4/1968 as much as I do 11/22/1963, for instance. I have recently elucidated about the importance of Dr. King in my social development.

I’ve only recently discovered a group that is “commemorating his life and work by creating a memorial in our nation’s capital. The Washington, DC, Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial will honor his life and contributions to the world through non violent social change.”

There is a website, mlkmemorialnews.org, that includes videos, photos, banners, and an opportunity to donate money to the creation of the memorial.

“After many years of fund raising, the memorial is only $14 million away from its $120 million goal.”
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Poll Finds Tea Party Anger Rooted in Issues of Class (NYT, 4/14)

The fierce animosity that Tea Party supporters harbor toward Washington and President Obama in particular is rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are
disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Why is this absolutely unsurprising?

Interestingly, Dr. King’s last efforts were not based on just racial equality, but on economic justice. But economic justice is like water on dry ground; it lifts ALL boats up.
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Democracy Now! spoke to the mayor of my hometown yesterday, Binghamton’s (NY) Matt Ryan. “He’s taken an unusual step to remind the city’s residents about the expanding costs of the wars. Early next week, the city of Binghamton plans to install a large digital ‘cost of war’ counter on the facade of City Hall. The counter will show that the residents of the city have already spent $138 million on the wars since 2001.” More here.

This reminds me that MLK’s opposition to the Vietnam war in 1967 was not exactly a popular move, either with the LBJ administration or with most civil rights leaders.
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I got an message from an old high school chum. (Why is it that certain people you remember instantly, and others are…who is that again?)
He wrote: “I can remember a speech you gave one day in an assembly. The idea being that racial equality had to do with even more than having a black person star in a deodorant commercial (which at the time was progress!) It made an impact that lasted…you never know what will, do you?”

Boy, I wish I could remember the context of that speech…

ROG